When it comes to bachelorette party planning, you don’t have to spend a lot to have a great night out. Blogger Chonce Maddox shares her secrets for a fantastic party that’s also affordable.
I’m a control freak and a perfectionist, so when it came to planning my wedding, I had no problem stepping up and making sure our preferences as a couple were met every step of the way.
When it came time to come up with bachelorette party ideas, I naturally wanted to put my two cents in as well. Affordability was a big concern for my party, since I had eight bridesmaids and other friends I wanted to invite.
Most importantly, I wanted to have fun with everyone and create lasting memories.
Weddings can be super expensive for all involved: the bride and groom, the families and friends in the wedding party, and all the wedding guests. Given all the fun celebratory traditions prior to the nuptials, it’s important to spend consciously and go the affordable route when you can.
If you can’t afford to jet off to Vegas and have an epic girls trip for your party, you’re not alone—and you can still make it fun and memorable.
My matron of honor and I took these simple steps to control costs and plan a fun and cost-efficient outing for my bachelorette party.
Set a Bachelorette Party Budget
It’s important to know how much you want to spend when planning any event. Traditionally, the maid/matron of honor is responsible for paying for the bachelorette party, but anyone can pick up the tab.
In some cases, bridesmaids can split some of the costs, so it just depends on whatever works for you. By planning a smaller event, I knew my sister (who was my matron of honor) and I could pay for the party ourselves.
We knew we didn’t want to spend more than $400 collectively for approximately nine attendees, so we knew our bachelorette party ideas had to align with that budget. To some, that may sound like a lot of money, but my party ran from 5 p.m. to after midnight, and that spending amount included all the food and entertainment.
When creating the budget, I made sure to run numbers that would be realistic. I could have set my budget for less, but then I would have been skimping on aspects that were important to me (or I could have wound up going way over budget and feeling guilty about it).
Choose (or Forego) Party Decorations
Looking back, there wasn’t much decorating involved with my bachelorette party. We had the dinner portion at my mom’s house and aside from some flair, like my sash and tiara, we didn’t have a ton of themed decorations (and I was fine with that).
I knew decorations would make for some nice bachelorette party pictures, but I figured the more disposable items we purchased, the more money we would have essentially wasted.
Pretty paper invitations would have been nice, but I chose to send e-vites to my guests for free, which did the trick and saved us a significant amount of party cash.
We decided to invest more money in the food, activities, and games instead and it paid off. (Who remembers bachelorette party decorations anyway when the night is over, right?)
Simplify the Menu
Providing food at any event can be costly. I avoided catering costs by having a BBQ-style dinner at my mom’s house to kick off the party — her house has a huge backyard and a really nice deck. Choosing to grill at her house kept food costs low and provided a familiar setting for guests, rather than a stuffy, expensive dining hall or restaurant.
My sister and I spent around $50 total on burgers, chicken, grilled corn, salad, water, paper dinnerwares, and alcoholic drinks. If we had gone to a restaurant, my guests would have had to pay for their meals, and if I had it catered, we’d have been stuck with a huge bill.
Use Coupons and Discounts
I’m big on using coupons and discounts in my everyday life, so it only made sense to look into discounts for my bachelorette outing.
I love using discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. I found a Groupon for a local comedy show and decided we could attend the show after dinner. Tickets were usually $20 per person, but the Groupon was $10.
My sister paid for me and everyone in the bridal party, so she spent about $90 plus tax. I invited a few extra people who couldn’t make dinner and asked them to pay the $10 entry fee. I was able to score them the same discount by calling the comedy club venue ahead of time and telling them I was planning to have my bachelorette party there.
I saw on their website that they offered discounts for groups, and they gave my additional guests the cheaper rate!
Get Creative with Party Planning
Finally, it was fun to get creative when planning my “last single night” with my sister. We thought of fun games to play, and considered a ton of frugal activities like hosting a pool party or our own wine-tasting event, going glamping for a night, and doing a bridal-themed bar crawl. Ultimately, we decided to attend the local comedy show, then headed to a free-entry bar afterward for drinks and dancing.
At the end of the day, all I needed was my closest friends for my last hoorah as a single person. I’ve already taken two girls’ trips since being married, so I don’t think I missed out by not traveling or throwing a huge expensive bash (that I wouldn’t have been able to comfortably afford in addition to my wedding).
Chonce Maddox runs the blog My Debt Epiphany and contributes personal finance stories to many online publications.
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